Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas


Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas from the Les Enfants team.

We hope you all have a wonderful time and look forward to sharing lots of parties with you in 2012.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 23

Two more sleeps! I really can't believe the big day is nearly here! So have you wrapped all the presents, collected the turkey, made mince pies to leave out for santa?  Don't panic there's still time.  Todays advent treat is my very own recipe for mince pies that santa will be thrilled to eat as he rushes aroung the world on his sleigh tomorrow night.

Ingredients

250g Self Raising Flour (and extra for dusting your board & rolling pin)

125g Butter

2 tbsp Light Muscavado Sugar

2tbsp Cold Water

Jar of Mincemeat


Utensils

Mixing Bowl

Palette Knife

Tablespoon

Kitchen Scales

Bun Tin (like you would use for fairy cakes)

Round Pastry Cutter (or a small plastic cup would work)

Small Holly Leaf Cutter (or other christmas shapes or smaller round cutter)

Rolling Pin

Mat or Board to roll our your pastry


This recipe makes about 12 mince pies


1. Put your flour and butter into your mixing bowl and rub together to make fine breadcrumbs. I'm always telling my children you just need your fingertips not your whole hands to make a breadcrumb mixture! Once you think you're done give the bowl a little shake and any large lumps will rise to the top so you can rub these in too.
 

2. Using your fingers stir the sugar in to the breadcumb mixture. Muscavado sugar does tend to be a little lumpy so will need to be rubbed in to your breadcrumbs. For a lighter pastry try using icing sugar instead.
 
 

3. Now add one tbsp of cold water and stir into the breadcrumb mixture using a palette knife. I guess you could use a metal spoon but I have always used a metal pallette knife. Add the second tablespoon of cold water and stir in to your mixture. It may now be necessary to bring the mixture together with your hands. If the mixture is a little too crumbly add a few drops of cold water, but only add tiny amounts as this can make a big difference in the texture of your pastry.
 
 


4. Sprinkle some flour on your mat or board and your rolling pin. Take half of your pastry and roll out to about 5mm (1/2cm) thickness. Cut out as many circles as you can and put these in to your bun tray. Pop the bits of pastry back into a ball and roll out again and cut out circles again.
 

 
 
5. Once you have filled your bun tray with pie bases add roughly a teaspoon of mincemeat to each pie. The trick is not to overload your pie bases!
 



6. Roll out some more pastry and cut your pie tops. I prefer to have little christmas shapes, like bells, christmas trees or holly leaves and found my tiny cutters in a kitchen shop for about 50p each. However you can make smaller circle tops for your mince pies if you prefer. Pop your pie tops on top of the mincemeat filled pie bases.


7. Put the tray of mince pies into the oven for about 15-20 mins on 160 degrees C (that's for a fan oven), so 180 for a normal electric oven and gas mark 4. The pastry should be a golden brown colour when cooked.


(these were golden brown honest!)

8. Leave the mince pies to cool in their tray for a short while, about 10 minutes is fine, then remove from the tray and pop on a cooling tray. Don't worry if one accidentaly breaks as you get it out of hte tim and you have to eat it!
Once cooled the mince pies should be stored in an airtight container and will last for at least a week. Alternatively you can freeze them in a box or bag for a month or two.

These mince pies are delicious warm and served with brandy butter or cream.


Other ideas for your mince pies

When you have made your breadcrumbs keep a small amount aside and use these as a crumble topping instead of a pie top.

Add a small ball of marzipan to your mince pies before putting their tops on.

Add extra cherries and/or nuts to your jar of mincemeat.

Bake your mince pies open then add a circle of fondant icing as a top when the pies have cooled.

To make a bigger batch the general rules for pastry are half fat to flour, a tbsp of sugar for each 125g of flour and a tablespoon of cold water for each 125g of flour.

Enjoy!
Zoe
x
 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day22

Three more sleeps!! Are you all excited yet? Todays advent treat will help make your Christas eve even more magical.  Have you ever made reindeer food to speinkle on your lawn so that the reindeers can guide Santa's sleigh to your house?  Mix a small amount of oats with some glitter and coconut and you have magical reindeer food.  Anders Ruff added a free printable label for your reindeer food to their blog yesterday so you can make little packages of magic to share with your childrens friends, your nieces and nephews, godchildren and grandchildren. 



Visit Anders Ruff to download and print your own reindeer food labels.

Have fun!
Zoe
x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Link Love - Christmas Party Inspiration

Good afternoon. I thought today I would share with you some of the wonderful Christmas party ideas in the blogosphere.   Lot's of party suppliers have been sharing Christmas inspired photo shoots on their own blogs aswell as other party blogs around the world sharing some fantastic christmas themed party ideas.  So here you go, just a small selection -


Lots of fantastic ideas in this fab online magazine from Birds Party




Gingerbread Decorating Party on Celebrations At Home



Vintage pastel dessert table on Little Sooti






Winter Carnival Party from The Party Dress



I found this fabulous Santa's Sweet Shop from Love The Day on HWTM blog




This photoshoot for the North Pole Christmas printables from Anders Ruff looks so much fun



A very yummy looking Snowman Soup photoshoot from Paper & Pigtails



 Delicious Gingerbread house party from The Tom Kat Studio


Have you created a fab Christmas party? Please share a link in the comments below as I woudl love to take a look.

Have a great day
Zoe
x

Advent Calendar - Day 21

Morning! Welcome back to the advent calendar and todays printable treat is perfect for your bookworms. I have found lots of lovely bookplate printables that are great if you are giving books this Christmas.  We are book lovers in my house and I think I may print some of these bookplates and wrap them up as an extra treat in my childrens stocking!



Bookplate from How About Orange



Bookplates from Lil Magoolie



Bookplates from My Owl Barn



Bookplates from We Love To Illustrate

Happy reading,
Zoe
x




Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 20

Welcome back to our advent calendar.  Todays treat is a fun salt dough tutorial I put toghether with my daughters for UK Handmade last year.  This is a great project to make some extra decorations or name tags for the dinner table during your festive celebrations.


Ingredients

1 cup plain flour

½ cup salt

½ cup water

 This recipe makes approximately 10 shapes

1.    Put flour and salt into a bowl and add water slowly.



2.    Knead for about ten minutes to form a soft pliable ball.

3.    If dough is too crumbly add a little more water, if the dough is too sticky add a little more flour.



4.    Roll the ball of dough out to about 1-2 cm thickness on a lightly floured board.

5.    Cut shapes using biscuit cutters and place onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Remember to put a small hole into the top of each shape if you wish to hang these shapes onto the Christmas tree.



6.    Place the sheet of greaseproof paper onto a microwavable plate.

7.    Place the plate of salt dough shapes into the microwave on a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until the shapes have hardened.  You can also cook them on  a low heat for about 90 minutes in the oven.

8.    Leave the salt dough shapes to cool.

9.    Once cooled decorate the shapes with paint and glitter glue,most paints can be used but I use acrylics. Coat the painted shapes with a clear varnish for them to last for next year too!

Have fun!
Zoe
x

Monday, 19 December 2011

Advent Giveaway - My Design Made

Welcome back and I am thrilled to announce the winner of the My Design Made giveaway.  I have put the numbers into Random.org nad the winner is.........................

mummy 24

Congratulations! I will now contact you to confirm your address so that you can receive your prize.

Enjoy the rest of your day everyone.
Zoe
x

Advent Calendar - Day 19

Morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I am sure your children are getting very excited about Christmas now.  Todays calendar treat is perfect to help you keep the children amused and to divert their excitement as you spend an afternoon building your very own gingerbread house.  Sweetopia is a full of sugary treats and Marian has put together a fantastic video and also a written tutorial to help you create the gingerbread house below. 



Visit Sweetopia for the video and tutorial to make this gingerbread house

Have fun!
Zoe
x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 18

Morning! This time next week it will be Christmas and I am sure many of us will have been up very early to the excited screams 'Santa's been'.  Todays advent treat is another set of fab gift tag printables and also some pritable wrapping paper, which is great for little gifts.



To download and print this great selection of papers and gift tags visit

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Zoe
x

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 17

Morning! Frosty start here but thankfully no snow as yet, although my children are waiting patiently to get the sledge out to race down the fields as soon as there is enough snow.  Todays advent treat is to help with entertaining younger and older guests over the festive period.  Everybody loves a game of bingo and Celebrations website have some great festive printable games.


Christmas Bingo Printable from Celebrations



Christmas Trivia Printable from Celebrations



Christmas Word Games from Celebrations


Have fun!
Zoe
x



Friday, 16 December 2011

Countdown to Christmas - Gift Ideas for Boys

Good afternoon.  I hope you are all warm and well this afternoon. Have you finished your Christmas shopping? I haven't, still a couple of presents to order!  Fear not if you are still trying to find gifts I have put together a gift guide for boys, which has been lots of fun as my own sons are now in their teens and taller than me.













I hope my ideas have helped and I am sure you have all finished your shopping weeks ago!

Have a fabulous weekend,
Zoe
x

Advent Giveaway Winner - Blackbird Games

Morning! Time to announce another winner in our advent calendar giveaways.  I have tapped the numbers into the random number generator and the winner has been chosen for the Blackbird Games giveaway.

Drum roll please....................................

The winner is ...............Red Rose Mummy

Congratulations!!  I will contact you now to confirm your address so that your prize can be sent before Christmas.

Be sure to pop back later for my gift guide for boys.

See you later
Zoe
x

Advent Calendar Day 16

Morning! Have you woken to snow this morning? Just incase you are having a snow day and want a snowy activity for afteryou've played in the snow with the children I am sure these snowglobe tutorials will keep you all busy.  They will also last long after the snow has melted.









Pop back this afternoon for my gift guide for boys.
Stay warm
Zoe
x




Thursday, 15 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Leapfrog Winner

Good afternoon I am thrilled to announce the winner of the Leapfrog 'My Own Leaptop' giveaway.  I have again used the number generator on Random.org and a winner has been choosen.

Drum roll please.......................................

The winner is Cake Pop Princess

Congratulations! I will contact you to confirm your address so that your prize can be sent in time for Christmas.

Have a great afternoon everyone.
Zoe
x

Advent Calendar - Day 15

Good morning and welcome back to our advent calendar.  Today I have a wonderful giveaway that will be a present that outlasts Boxing day.  My Design Made take your childrens artwork and turn it into greetings cards and art prints, which means all of those precious paintings and drawings can be treasured and shared with family and friends.




My Design Made also offer a range of Colour It Yourself cards and delicious looking Cookie Cards, with plans to add invitations and thank you cards to their range very soon. 


Today My Design Made are offering one of lucky readers the chance to win a £25 voucher, whcih would be a great present to give or to keep and use yourself after the mad rush of Christmas. 


To win a £25 Gift Voucher from My Design Made there are two things that you can do to enter.
In order for your entry to count you must leave a comment below. Please leave a seperate comment for EACH action you take.
 
  • Leave a comment below saying who you would send a My Design Made art print to.
  • Tweet "I've entered the @mydesignmade giveaway on @lesenfantsparty blog."
This giveaway will be open until 11.59pm GMT on Saturday 17 December 2011. A winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will announced on this blog on Monday 19 Decemeber 2011. This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
Good Luck!
Zoe
x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Les Enfants Christmas Parties

Good afternoon, I hope you are all having a fab Wednesday.  I will be heading off to school shortly to help set up for the key stage one Christmas party, which my youngest daughter is very excited about. Then it's a disco for key stage two so my older two daughters have been busy last night deiciding what to wear!  These are just parties in our village school and don't even compare with the amazing parties the Les Enfants team are creating everyday from now until 23 December.  I am thrilled this afternoon to be able to share with you the fantastic Santas workshop parties from Les Enfants.












I am sure you will agree the sets are amazing and the details look fantastic.  Children can write a letter to Santa in the postal room, visit Santa in his grotto and visit Mrs Claus in her kitchen to decorate gingerbread men.  The most perfect Christmas party and I only wish I was little again so that I could join in!

Have a wonderful afternoon and I will be back in the morning with another advent giveaway.

Zoe
x








Advent Calendar - Day 14

Welcome back to our advent calendar and todays treat will entertain the whole family this Christmas.  Blackbird Games is based in West Sussex and was founded in Spring 2009 by Krysia Hudek and Terry Howe.  They write, design and publish all of their own games using new twists on traditional games that can be played by children and adults alike.  Todays prize from Blackbird Games is their Christmas Party Games, which is a set of five festive games for friends and family to play, offering over two hours of armchair and more energetic fun.  Ideal for gatherings of between 6 and 36 adults and children aged over four.


To win the Christmas Party Games from Blackbird Games there are two things that you can do to enter.
In order for your entry to count you must leave a comment below. Please leave a seperate comment for EACH action you take.

  •  Visit Blackbird Games and leave a comment saying which game you would love to play as a family.
  • Tweet "I've entered the @Blackbirdgames giveway on @lesenfantsparty blog"
This giveaway will be open until 11.59pm GMT on Thursday 15 December 2011. A winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will announced on this blog on Friday 16 Decemeber 2011. This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
Good Luck!
Zoe
x

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 13

Morning! I hope you are all well and not facing flooding or other problems this morning after the storm last night.  For todays advent calendar I have a little printable treat for you all that will help in labelling all of your presents to avoid any mistakes!   I discovered Wee Birdy fairly recently and am signed up to daily email updates and love reading this blog.  These gift tags are very cute and you can choose which colourway you would like to download and print.  Be sure to take a look around whilst visiting Wee Birdy as I am sure you will also love it.




To download these gift tag printables visit


See you soon
Zoe
x